Greek Rodanchos, AKA Pumpkin Strudel

Simanim gourds pumpkins

Since Rosh Hashana is less than a week away, I thought I’d share one of my favorite all time Yom Tov recipes with you: Greek Rodanchos, aka Pumpkin Strudel. I like to serve this for Rosh Hashana since pumpkin is a gourd, which is one of the simanim. The word for gourd in Hebrew is k’ra, which is a homonym for the Hebrew words “tear apart” and “read”.  When we eat the pumpkin, we say the yehiyeh ratzon that the decree of our sentence be torn apart and our merits be read before G-d.

The recipe comes from Joan Nathan’s lovely cookbook, Jewish Holiday Kitchen. It’s one of my favorites, especially for all of her siman-filled Rosh Hashana recipes.

Greek Rodanchos


1 16-oz can of pumpkin (not pie filling), or 2 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin
5 T sugar, or Agave nectar
1 T cinnamon
1/2 c vegetable oil, or melted Earth’s Balance margarine
16 sheets fillo dough


1. Preheat over to 350° (180° celcius). Grease a cookie sheet.

2. In a saucepan over low heat, combine pumpkin, sugar/Agave nectar, cinnamon, and 1 T of the oil. Stir constantly until the liquid evaporates. Set aside to cool.

3. Taking one sheet of fillo at a time, while keeping the rest covered with a damp towel, fold the sheet in half. Brush with oil. Place 2 T of filling along the long side. Close the fillo, rolling jelly-roll fashion.

4. Carefully twist the long roll and then roll it up like a snail, with the outside end tucked under. Brush with oil and place on a cookie sheet.

5. Continue until all the filling has been used up.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. If the rodanchos are not yet golden after 25 minutes, raise the temperate to 375° for a few minutes.

Serves 8-12 people. B’tayavon!

Notes on cost: One can of Libby’s pumpkin is approximately $1.50 without sales or coupons. Of course, if you scavenge for pumpkins after Halloween, and then cook and freeze them in 2-cup portions, well, it’s even cheaper. Fillo runs between $2 and $2.50 per package, which is more than enough for this recipe.

What’s your favorite recipe for Yom Tov? Do you have any special hacks for making it more frugal? Share and share alike! Since we didn’t have any links in the Mr. Linky last week, I’ll go back to just asking you to share in the comments section. If you have a blog that you’d like to link up to, let me know and I’ll add in a Linky.

Shabbat Shalom!


  1. That sounds so delicious. We make an easy squash pie which when I want to be healthier I leave out of the pie crust (and I suppose that is also more frugal). It’s actually adapted over the years from a recipe that called for margarine (yuch) and much more sugar, eggs, etc. The lightened up version is still quite yummy and much less caloric than the original–also this is key for me—one dish cooking.

    Defrost two packages frozen squash in microwave. Add 2 eggs, 1 cup flour, half cup sugar, 2 cups (parve) soy milk, bit of cinnamon,nutmeg, ginger. Mix up and bake at 350 until firm or pour into pie crusts and bake up.

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